6 Location Considerations for New Urgent and Primary Care Clinics
With so much competition for patients among healthcare providers, choosing a convenient, attractive location for your new urgent care or primary care clinic is paramount to its success. If you’re considering options for a new facility, keep these six key factors in mind.
Do competing health systems operate clinics within a block of your proposed location? Five blocks? One mile? How many other clinics are already available to the local population?
A new facility in an overly saturated area is unlikely to succeed. However, if the competing medical facilities are in poor condition — due to aging buildings or low ratings, for instance — your clinic can stand out and draw traffic.
Conversely, be careful about placing an office in an area lacking competition. There may be good reason that no one else has established a facility in the area, so you should thoroughly investigate. Depending on the goals of your clinic, you may need to reconsider.
2. Traffic Patterns and Consumer Habits
What other businesses are in the area of your potential new facility site? Nearby restaurants, grocery stores, and shopping outlets can increase traffic flow by putting medical care on the same route as other day-to-day activities. Rather than forcing people out of their routines to get a primary care checkup, this allows them to integrate their medical needs into their daily lives.
3. Visibility and Access
Think about the last industry conference you attended. You likely walked past one or two drugstores on your way from your hotel to the conference center. If you needed healthcare items during the event — like a bottle of ibuprofen or a box of Band-Aids — you knew exactly where to stop.
Visibility lets customers know where to find a product or service before they need it. Then, once they do need it, they can make an immediate decision and route themselves there quickly. Keeping your clinic top of mind for potential patients is critical for gaining traction within the community and retaining patients. Look for locations where your target patients will see your clinic and become aware of your presence, even if they don’t immediately need healthcare services.
4. Traffic Volume
Consider the foot and vehicle traffic surrounding the potential new facility and determine if it matches your needs. Too little traffic may not provide the influx of people needed to support your clinic. Too much traffic could lead to parking frustrations and a crowded waiting room. Aim to strike the right balance of traffic volume for the ideal patient flow.
5. Facility Funnels
Consider establishing satellite clinics — small facilities placed at a strategic distance from your main facility. This can increase traffic, top-of-mind awareness, and utilization of your suite of services, ultimately creating a new access point for potential patients previously outside your reach. If a new patient comes to one of your clinics and has a positive experience, they are more likely to return to your network for additional services, thereby increasing their lifetime value.
Ensure you understand your target patients' socioeconomics and spend time getting to know the local population. Consider demographics such as age, family status, and geographic location, as well as where potential patients spend their free time.
For example, primary and urgent care practices often see a large number of pediatric patients, so suburban neighborhoods may be attractive sites for new facilities. However, you must also consider average income and insurance status of potential patients in a new area.
Don't Make a Decision Without the Right Data
With increasing market competition and constant infrastructure evolution in urban areas, selecting the right location for a new urgent care or primary care clinic can feel daunting. Location decisions are too costly to leave to intuition. If you’re not considering these six types of data in your location strategy, you’re inviting competitors with a data-driven approach to get ahead.
Syntellis offers a comprehensive suite of tools to help organizations evaluate a potential location’s demographics, traffic, and competition to streamline the selection process. Syntellis’ Axiom™ Market Opportunity Analysis and Axiom™ Market Opportunity Visualization leverage industry-best, curated 837 All-Payer Claims Data (APCD) — including referral, market share, and patient origin and migration data — to deliver actionable, executive-level insights that support strategic growth planning.
Contact us today to learn more.